Effects of Noise Pollution and How to Address Them
Noise pollution is described to be an invisible danger. It cannot be seen, but it is around us. It consists of any unwanted and disturbing sounds that adversely affect the health and wellbeing of humans and animals.
How sound becomes noise
Sound is measured in decibels. There are many different sounds being generated in the environment, ranging from rustling leaves (20-30 decibels) to sirens wailing (120-140 decibels). Sounds that go beyond 85 decibels are already capable of causing damage to a person’s ears.
The thing is, there are sound sources that exceed this limit, and they happen all at the same time. You may hear heavy equipment running on a busy street along with cars honking and loud music playing in a nearby establishment, all of which go beyond 85 decibels. This becomes a form of noise pollution.
Noise pollution has a huge impact on people and animals; their effects may also last for the long term, and sometimes these can be irreparable. Among these effects include:
- Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
NIHL is one of the most common health issues you may suffer from after being exposed to chronic noise pollution. Since your ears have become used to the loud noise, it loses its sensitivity to sound, making you lose the ability to hear softer sounds that are softer in volume and pitch.
NIHL also affects the way you differentiate sounds; you may find it difficult to understand whispers or a person talking in a modulated tone. You can only hear the background noise, since that’s the sound your ears immediately recognise.
NIHL may lead to actual hearing loss when not addressed immediately. It also takes time to recover from NIHL, as it requires a change in lifestyle and everyday practice in avoiding exposure to noise pollution.
- Loss of focus and concentration.
Another impact of noise pollution is the lack of focus and concentration. This is common among people of all ages, but affects mostly children. Children who face noise pollution at an early age get used to the distraction. Thus, they find it difficult to focus on their studies, especially when they are in classrooms or quiet places. Meanwhile, adults who are working become less productive when exposed to loud noise regularly. Noise not only affects their work quality, but their work ethic as well.
- Chronic stress.
We may not realise it immediately, but noise pollution is a major contributing factor to chronic stress. Since the noise disrupts our focus and clarity, we become irritable in our surroundings. This feeling lingers even when we are already in the comforts of our own home.
Some people are more susceptible to stress than others. When exposed to noise pollution, their stress levels shoot up, and these result in high blood pressure, memory impairment, and sleep disturbances, among others.
Animals, when exposed to noise pollution, also become easily disgruntled. This causes them to run amuck or cause a commotion, as for them these sounds signal danger.
How to address noise pollution
There are many ways to address noise pollution, and one of them is by using noise barrier sheets. These sheets help control sound in various ways, such as:
- limiting the travel of sound by reflecting the sound waves back to the source
- preventing sound waves from entering a protected property
- absorbing other sound attributes, such as echo and reverb, so these won’t be felt by people and animals
Noise barrier sheets are ideal in short and medium-term activities (recurring events). If you happen to be looking for a durable solution to mitigate noise pollution in your property, then this is the way to go.